Twins: Ryan steps down, Smith will take over

Bill Smith, Terry Ryan's right-hand man, will take the GM job in a massive reshuffling of Twins management.

Terry Ryan is a scout at heart. While many baseball general managers can't be found before games, Ryan almost always is in his booth at the Metrodome, charting opposing players during batting practice, his stopwatch nearby.

After 13 years of meetings, going home after tough losses and negotiating with agents, Ryan has decided to return to his roots.

Ryan, second in tenure among major league GMs to Atlanta's John Schuerholz, announced Thursday that he's stepping aside at the end of the season and will become a senior adviser to new GM Bill Smith, Ryan's longtime assistant. The new role takes Ryan away from the grind and back to his baseball beginnings as a scout and talent evaluator.

"I look like I'm 75 but I'm 53, and I'd probably be better served out in the field and out there on the diamond instead of behind that desk," said Ryan, who choked back tears during Thursday's news conference at the Dome.

Ryan joined the Twins in 1986 as scouting director and was named the GM exactly 13 years ago Thursday. He led the Twins from embarrassment in the mid-to-late 1990s, through contraction fears in 2001 and to four AL Central titles between 2002 and 2006. His best moves included getting two-time Cy Young award winner Johan Santana in 1999 during a Rule 5 draft-day deal and landing reliever Joe Nathan, flamethrower Francisco Liriano and pitching prospect Boof Bonser for controversial catcher A.J. Pierzynski in 2003 -- a trade that also cleared the way for Joe Mauer to assume Pierzynski's spot.

"I would not be sitting here now if not for Terry Ryan," said Cincinnati GM and former Twins assistant GM Wayne Krivsky, who was floored by the news when Ryan called to tell him. "Terry wrote the textbook on how to run an organization. That why so many people use them as a model."

Twins players Michael Cuddyer and Nick Punto, manager Ron Gardenhire and owner Carl Pohlad were in the packed Halsey Hall Room crowd as the Twins made the unexpected announcement. Twins center fielder Torii Hunter said in a telephone conversation from the Dallas area that he was stunned by the news.

"For what he's done for the organization, this is big," Hunter said. "I don't understand why he stepped down. Terry is one of my buddies."

Ryan's departure led to a reshuffling of the team's baseball department. Ryan in essence had been GM and director of player personnel. Because Smith is primarily an administrator, the club promoted Mike Radcliff from scouting director to vice president/player personnel.

Smith, 49, and one of Ryan's confidants through the years, becomes the fifth GM in club history. Smith, who lives in Bloomington with his wife, Becky, and three daughters, is well-versed in baseball rules and is a stickler for details and finances.

Smith watched practically every brick get put into place in the Twins' year-round facility in Fort Myers, Fla. He was the club's point man during its expansion into Latin American development. And he embraces aspects of the job that Ryan didn't enjoy. Ryan said Smith might have a better touch at negotiations than he does, an interesting admission considering the club wants to re-sign Hunter and extend the contract of Santana after the season.

"The game has changed since I've entered," Ryan said. "It's for bright, energetic negotiators, moreso than anything I possess."

Front office changes

Ryan's decision also sent ripples of change through the baseball operations department beyond Smith's rise to power.

Radcliff had been the director of scouting since 1993. Rob Antony, formerly the director of baseball operations, is now the assistant GM and will take on most contract negotiations. Deron Johnson, the West Coast scouting supervisor, is replacing Radcliff as scouting director.

"Really, I think -- and not to offend Terry Ryan -- but I think you could make a case that this could be an even better organization [with the new structure]," said Twins CEO Jim Pohlad, Carl Pohlad's son. "Terry is going to be doing what he likes to do, Billy is going to be doing what he does best, and maybe bring some new ideas, and he'll have Terry to consult with. Knock on wood, we're hopeful."

The decision came after months of self-deliberation and weeks of talks with the most trusted members of the organization. Ryan had noticed a change in how the business of baseball affected him. He felt worse after losses than usual. He was worn out after the trade deadline after working the phones to try to swing a deal. The winter meetings of recent years took a lot out of him.

"I'm as healthy as a horse," Ryan said Thursday. "I know that's short-lived if I kept up this pace."

Some of Ryan's baseball peers were not surprised by the move.

"Terry's one of those guys, just knowing him, he never seemed real happy," San Diego GM Kevin Towers said. "He was like being a GM is what it is. If this is what the organization wants me to do, I'll do it. He could have done it for 40 years, but with Terry, you figured there was a point in time where he'd say, 'I've had enough.' He's an honest man with a tremendous integrity, and a great evaluator. The best way I can put it is he's a baseball man."

Ryan was hard on himself, expressing frustration over his failure to add offensive punch at this season's trade deadline. Instead, he dealt leadoff hitter and second baseman Luis Castillo, a move that upset the clubhouse.

Ryan mentioned a couple of rare outbursts with the media this season were more signs a change was needed.

"There were a couple instances this year where I changed and I didn't like it," he said. "I need to get out. I don't want to change."

The timing comes at a critical juncture for the team. Hunter and righthander Carlos Silva can file for free agency after the season. Nathan, whom the club holds an option on for 2008, would like to stay beyond that. Cuddyer and first baseman Justin Morneau are core players, but the club failed to get multiyear deals done with them last offseason.

Ryan felt now was the right time for a change, pointing out that the busy season for GMs runs from Oct. 1 through spring training, when roster decisions of all kinds are required. As for negotiating contracts, Smith actually was the one in contact with Larry Rey- nolds, Hunter's agent, this season before Hunter decided to wait until after the season.

"This gives us two weeks to transition so we are ready to go Oct. 1," Smith said.

On Oct. 1, Ryan will move into another office -- the one in his home in Eagan -- where he can spend more time with his wife, Karilyn, son, Tim, and daughter, Kathleen.

"[Karilyn] had an inkling," Ryan said of his decision, "but she told me that she never thought she'd see this day coming."

  • related content

  • Video: Terry Ryan announces resignation

    Thursday September 13, 2007

    Twins General Manager Terry Ryan announced his decision to step down Thursday afternoon but looks forward to his new...

  • Audio: Q&A with Terry Ryan

    Thursday September 13, 2007

    Minnesota Twins outgoing General Manager Terry Ryan told reporters Thursday afternoon that despite stepping down...

  • Jim Souhan: Twins don't survive without proper touch

    Friday September 14, 2007

    Terry Ryan became a master at what he did, and because of that baseball still matters in Minnesota.

  • Patrick Reusse: As with TK, Ryan has no hidden agenda

    Friday September 14, 2007

    Terry Ryan did as his manager did six years earlier — walk away when he got worn out by the grind. Now it will be up to new GM Bill...

  • Sid Hartman: Months ago, Ryan told team of his plan

    Friday September 14, 2007

    Jim Pohlad said upcoming contract issues didn’t factor in Terry Ryan’s decision — and that the Twins will make every effort to keep their stars.

  • Smith's move to top a long time coming

    Thursday September 13, 2007

    Bill Smith’s decision to attend the 1979 winter meetings started him down a lifelong career in baseball. That career reached its peak when he was named to take over as...

  • Ryan's run: the good, the bad, the deals

    Thursday September 13, 2007

    Terry Ryan became Twins GM on Sept. 13, 1994. He resigned Thursday, 13 years to the day he took over....

  • Survivors

    Thursday September 13, 2007

    When Terry Ryan (above) resigned as Twins general manager Thursday, he was the second-longest-tenured GM in the majors. Here's a...

  • Series preview: Twins vs. Detroit

    Thursday September 13, 2007

    THREE GAMES AT THE METRODOMETonight, 7:10 p.m., FSN, 1500-AMRHP Matt Garza (3-5, 3.71 ERA) vs. LHP Nate Robertson (7-11, 5.04)Saturday,...

  • NEW FACES, NEW ROLES The resignation of Terry Ryan as Twins general manager Wednesday created wholesale changes in the organization's baseball department. The new flow chart: Bill Smith New role: General manager Old role: Assistant general manager Mike Radcliff New role: Vice president, player personnel Old role: Scouting director Rob Antony New role: Assistant general manager Old role: Director of baseball operations Deron Johnson New role: Scouting director Old role: West Coast scouting supervistor Brad Steil New role: Director of baseball operations Old role: Assistant director of baseball operations How it works: Smith and Antony will handle most administrative duties, while Radcliff will be the chief talent evaluator, assisted by Antony and Ryan, who will now serve as a senior adviser to the GM.
  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Final123456789RHE
Minnesota0000101002100
Baltimore «00010110X381
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:A.Miller(5-5) L:J.Burton(2-3) S:Z.Britton (30)
HR: MIN- None BAL- J.Paredes (1)

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 0 FINAL
Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: F. Doubront 5 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: J. Masterson 1
Cincinnati - LP: A. Simon 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 3
Minnesota - LP: J. Burton 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: A. Miller 3
Philadelphia - WP: J. Williams 7 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: B. Colon 2
Miami - WP: J. Cosart 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Boston - LP: A. Webster 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Odorizzi 7
Cleveland 1 Bottom 10th Inning
Kansas City 1
Detroit - WP: K. Ryan 8 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: C. Bassitt 4
Texas - LP: P. Klein 0 FINAL
Houston - WP: S. Feldman 2
Colorado - WP: T. Matzek 2 FINAL
Arizona - LP: V. Nuno 0
Chicago Cubs 1 Bottom 8th Inning
St. Louis 5
Los Angeles 1 Top 8th Inning
San Diego 1
Milwaukee 0 Bottom 6th Inning
San Francisco 3
Oakland 0 Bottom 5th Inning
LA Angels 2
Washington 3 Top 6th Inning
Seattle 0
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 23 FINAL
(2) Alabama 33
Rice 17 FINAL
(17) Notre Dame 48
(10) South Dakota St 18 FINAL
(24) Missouri 38
Fla Atlantic 7 FINAL
(22) Nebraska 55
California 31 FINAL
Northwestern 24
Marshall 42 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 27
UC Davis 0 FINAL
(11) Stanford 45
Arkansas 21 FINAL
(6) Auburn 45
(16) Clemson 21 FINAL
(12) Georgia 45
Liberty 29 FINAL
(23) North Carolina 56
Ohio U 17 FINAL
Kent State 14
Louisiana Tech 16 FINAL
(4) Oklahoma 48
Stephen F Austin 16 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 55
Southern Miss 0 FINAL
Miss State 49
Fresno State 13 4th Qtr 0:40
(15) USC 52
Texas-El Paso 24 4th Qtr 3:13
New Mexico 24
North Texas 7 4th Qtr 7:12
Texas 28
(1) Florida State 27 4th Qtr 15:00
Oklahoma State 17
(14) Wisconsin 17 2nd Qtr 0:21
(13) LSU 7
Idaho 0 Postponed 14:50
Florida 0
South Dakota 3 1st Qtr 8:40
(3) Oregon 8
(25) Washington 0 1st Qtr 7:41
Hawaii 7
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 FINAL
Seattle 1
New England 3 FINAL
Toronto FC 0
Columbus 0 FINAL
Montreal 2
FC Dallas 0 FINAL
Chicago 1
Real Salt Lake 0 1st Half
San Jose 1
Portland 0 1st Half 35:00
Vancouver FC 0
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Chicago 70 FINAL
Indiana 77
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close